Holding an Annual General Meeting AGM
Every year tenants and residents Forums, Panels and Groups will have to organise an Annual General Meeting (AGM). An AGM is a meeting open to all your forum/group members so you can elect the committee for the year ahead, make any changes to the forum/group’s Terms of Reference, and celebrate the forum/group’s successes and outline future plans. Your AGM should be held towards the end of the year.
Why do we have to hold an AGM?
All ? Housing affiliated forums/groups that organise a general meeting are required to hold an AGM.
Member Led Groups
AGMs give members the opportunity to set the direction of their forum/group.
This is an opportunity to report back to your members what you have achieved.
All members are given the chance to vote and decide who to be on the Forum/group’s Committee. The Committee members are: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer.
It is important that members are kept up-to-date with any new developments and changes to the forum/group.
Organising the AGM
Set a Time and Date
Agree with your committee a list of possible times and dates for the AGM. You will need at least two weeks to prepare. Think about when your members will be available. There will not be a date and time that will suit every member. However, an evening is likely to suit your members better.
Think about what might encourage members to attend the AGM. Some forums/groups provide food and drink, hold their AGM at the start or end of an event, or integrate it with their own forum/group awards.
Once you have a time, date and place for the AGM email a notice to your members. The notice should be sent at least 2 weeks in advance of your AGM and should include:
Time, Date and Place
Clearly state the time, date and place of the AGM. You may want to include instructions for how to find the venue.
At the AGM you must elect the committee for the year ahead.
Specify a deadline and give an email address (and or include a postage paid form) that they should submit their nomination form to. You should give a deadline at least two days before the AGM the longer the better.
You may also want to ask candidates to submit a manifesto. A manifesto is no more than an A4 page for candidates to outline a bit about themselves, why they want the position and what their aims and plans will be if they get elected and will help members make their decision.
Tell your members why attending the AGM is important and what’s in it for them (Localism Agenda).
Only forum/group members can vote in a forum/group's elections.
Committee Report and Impact Assessment
Before the AGM, your committee should reflect on the past year and the forum/group’s activities and achievements. This discussion should then be used as the basis of a presentation for the AGM.
Terms of Reference (ToR) Review
Also before or at the AGM, your committee will need to review and agree your forum/group ToR. The ToR outline is the aims and objectives of your group and your list of committee positions.
You should make sure the committee positions reflect your forum/group’s needs and activities. The aims and objectives should accurately describe your forum/group’s activity.
If your committee decides to make any changes to the ToR, you will need to give a presentation outlining the changes you want to make and why at the AGM. Members should be given the opportunity to vote for or against your proposed changes at the AGM.
Elections /The Positions
At the AGM you must elect a Chair and Treasurer for the next year. You may also need to elect other committee positions that are written in your forum/group’s constitution.
The Chair’s responsibilities include:
(i) Being the figurehead of the Forum/group.
(ii) Ensuring that the Forum/group operates in accordance with its ToR and the policies of One Housing.
(iii) Attending Housing training sessions as appropriate.
(iv) Calling General Meetings of the Forum/group.
(v) Organising fair and transparent elections for the following year’s committee.
(vi) For being the point of contact between OneHousing and the forum/group members. The Chair is mandated to keep in regular contact with the relevant Housing Officer.
(vii) Authorising the withdrawal of expenditure from the forum/group’s account.
The Treasurer’s responsibilities include:
(i) Keeping current accurate financial information of the forum/group’s activities.
(ii) Ensuring financial transactions made through the forum/group/? Housing are conducted in accordance with guidance provided.
(iii) Authorising the withdrawal of expenditure from the forum/group’s account.
(iv) Attending Housing training sessions as appropriate.
(v) Ensuring that all relevant financial documents are retrieved from the previous Treasurer and passed on to the next Treasurer.
The committee elected will hold office between 1st January and 31st December the following year.
The main responsibilities for the Secretary are:
(i) Convening meetings including Let the committee/members know when and where the next meeting will be held booking rooms.
(ii) Set the agenda in partnership with the Chair and Vice Chair.
(iii) Take the minutes in meetings, write them up and distribute asap.
(iv) Keep the records of past minutes and meetings.
(v) Keep a log of all correspondence in and out.
(vi) Send and receive letters on behalf of the group.
(vii) Invite any guests to meetings.
(viii) Making regular contact with committee members and residents.
Nominations and Manifestos
Members should have the chance to read copies of candidate’s nomination forms and manifestos. Electronic copies can be emailed to members before the AGM and paper copies made available at the meeting.
At the AGM, you should give candidates the opportunity to outline a bit about themselves, why they want the position and what their aims and plans will be if they get elected. You can also allow members to ask the candidates questions.
Voting should be conducted by secret ballot. This involves anonymously filling in a ballot paper and placing it in a sealed ballot box before ballots are counted. Once the voting is finished someone that does not have an interest in the outcome of the election should count the votes and announce the winner.